Self assessment deadline is looming

ScotiaAccounting  |  12th January

January is the month that accountants either love or hate. Self assessments are due to be filed by January 2015 which covers the 2013/14 tax year. Here, we outline all you need to know to file your return in good time.

Firstly, make sure you file it on time. Sounds obvious but last year there were close to 1 million self assessments that were not filed by 31st January. If you miss the deadline it is an automatic £100 fine. Further fines will be issued including a daily fine if your return is not filed within 3 months of the deadline.

Who needs to file a self assessment?

If you are either or a mix of the following: self employed, partner in a business, director of a limited company, earn PAYE over £100k, receive savings interest, receive dividends and receive rental income from property. These are the most popular items that need to be included. A full list can be found here on the HMRC website.

What period does it cover?

As already stated the deadline for filing self assessment is the 31st January. This is 10 months after the relevant tax year ends. The period you will be reporting on covers 6th April to the following 5th April (or 1st April to 31st March to keep it simple).

So for the deadline at the end of this month you will need to report your earnings for the period 1st April 2013 to 31st March 2014.

How do you file a self assessment?

There is a lot of commercial software out there that can be used but these are generally pricey. HMRC offers free software via their website. It is very user friendly with simple drop down menus and separate sections for each of your different forms of earnings. You can access this service once you register for self assessment. Again this is done through the HMRC website here.

Be organised.

Don’t leave it until the last minute and if you are unsure or short of time ask an accountant to help you out. We have seen some people bury their heads in the sand when it comes to filing their self assessments and they have stacked up huge amount of fines which have caused a lot of stress and financial hardship.

Keep an annual folder with all your relevant paperwork such as P60/45/11d, interest & dividend certificates, and self employed accounts and property income statements.

If you are in need of any assistance you can get in touch with us here.

The Telegraph posted a useful video stating the five most common mistakes made on a self assessment. You can see it here.